Nielsen Names New CEO in Latest Measurement Shakeup

Karthik Rao previously led the company's audience measurement business

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Top line

TV measurement and analytics giant Nielsen has named Karthik Rao as CEO, effective immediately. Former CEO David Kenny, who had the position since 2018, will take the role of executive chairman.

Between the lines

Following his appointment as CEO, Rao said he was looking to position Nielsen “for the next century and beyond.”

“Nielsen has been my home for most of my career, and I could not be more excited for this new opportunity,” Rao said in a statement. “Providing our client partners, the ad industry and content creators of all types the most accurate information possible is our singular goal.”

Former CEO Kenny also gave Rao his “complete support” in a statement.

“This is an exciting day for Nielsen and for me. I have been fortunate to lead this company through some extraordinary times in the past five years, working alongside Karthik for much of it,” Kenny said. “As I transition to my new role and my operating responsibilities come to an end, I hand over leadership to someone with extensive experience in knowing what Nielsen does best, backed by the skills and understanding to position the company for a vibrant future.”

Prior to the CEO appointment, Rao led Nielsen’s audience measurement business, focusing on enabling a currency across all media distribution and consumption models globally. He served as the company’s COO before that.

Bottom line

With Nielsen sunsetting C3 and C7, the industry’s standard for currency, by fall 2024, measurement companies have been jostling for positioning in the market, and the new CEO is just the latest move.

Earlier this week, Nielsen competitor iSpot said it has acquired measurement platform 605, with the company looking to bolster its measurement solutions and effectiveness for business outcome attribution, advanced audience measurement, media planning and data science managed services.

The acquisition also added set-top box data from 16.6 million homes, making iSpot’s total available TV device footprint 82.7 million.

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